- About Joel
- Contact Join our Club
- How to build a straw bale garden surface trellis
- How to build the perfect compost bin
- How to make your straw bale garden greenhouse
- Installing a trellis system
- Is straw bale gardening "gluten-free"?
- Make a map of your straw bale garden
- Planning your straw bale garden
- Site selection and preparation
- Are ants harmful to my vegetables?
- How can I get rid of or prevent ants?
- What can I do about the ants invading my bales?
- Day 1 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 2 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 3 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 4 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 5 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 6 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 7 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 8 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 9 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 10 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 11 of conditioning your straw bales
- Day 12 of conditioning your straw bales
- Organic sources of nitrogen that work best?
- Should I be concerned about flies?
- What to use?
- When to start?
- Why does some fertilizer sit on top, is this normal?
- Why do the organic bales smell bad for a while?
- Bale temperature - when is it safe to plant?
- Can I plant in extra large straw bales?
- How can I speed up the conditioning?
- What if my bales are too hot?
- What if my bales don't get hot inside?
- How far apart do I set up my bales?
- How many bales should I plant?
- How can anyone afford to buy bales they are so expensive?
- How can I save money using bales?
- How to make your own bales with a BaleMaker 3000
- What can I do with last years half decomposed and falling over bales?
- What can I use to make my own bales?
- What is a balemaker3000?
- How to fix your tipping bales
- Helping out your Beans and Peas with stick teepees
- How many cabbage in a bale?
- Why does cabbage grow so well in bales?
- Can I grow corn in my straw bale garden?
- Why is corn not recommended in a Straw Bale Garden?
- How can I keep deer away?
- How can I keep rabbits away?
- How can I prevent neighborhood livestock from getting into my garden?
- How to keep deer away from your garden
- What about raccoons will they get into the bales?
- Will rabbit jump up on the bales?
- End of season bale comparison - Homemade vs Straw
- Garden cleanup in Joel's backyard
- What will my Straw Bale Garden look like at the end of the season?
- Fertilizing your straw bale garden plants
- How to use an in-line, automatic fertilizing system
- How to use flowers as indicator plants for watering your straw bale garden
- Setting up a straw bale FLOWER garden
- A Gardening Medley from Kearney, New Jersey
- Garden interview with Danielle and Finn from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
- Garden visit with Diane and Melissa in Mounds View, Minnesota
- Garden visit with Eric in Northfield, Minnesota
- Garden visit with Sandy in Excelsior, Minnesota
- Garden visit with Steve at the Nativity Child Family Center in Saint Anthony, Minnesota
- Interview with Paul Sorenson in Blaine, Minnesota
- St Croix Montessori school garden Week 3 update
- Update from Joel's garden in Roseville, Minnesota August 17 2015
- Update from Paul's garden in Blaine, Minnesota Week 4
- Harvesting tips - Cucumbers, Heirloom Tomatoes, Green Beans, Cauliflower, Summer Squash, Monster Zucchini
- How to grow and harvest Kale
- How to harvest your Lettuce crop twice!
- Pruning young plants
- Thinning Your Seedlings with Scissors
- Traditional garden troubles: shade & roots & weeds!
- Advantages and disadvantages of using hay instead of straw?
- Can I use a hay bale instead?
- Don't let your Cilantro bolt!
- Growing GREAT Basil!
- Harvesting Basil mid-season
- Battling the bugs in your garden
- How to fight the cabbage worms in your garden
- How to Use Eggshells to Prevent Damage from Slugs
- Can I store bales over winter?
- Doesn't straw attract rodents?
- Should I cover bales over winter?
- What if I have gophers or moles already in my garden area?
- Are mushrooms harmful to my plants?
- Are the mushrooms edible?
- Are the spores that are given off by the mushrooms harmful?
- Can I grow mushrooms on the bales as a crop?
- Do I need to be concerned about the mold
- Do I need to remove the mushrooms from the bales?
- How long do the mushrooms last?
- What to do about mushrooms growing on my bales?
- How many in a bale?
- What about blossom end rot in peppers if I plant in bales?
- What are the main concerns with growing peppers in bales?
- Can I plant with fertilizer crust on my straw bales?
- Do I need to make a seedbed or just push seeds into the straw?
- Do I use potting mix around transplants?
- How deep do I plant transplants into the bales?
- How do I plant transplants?
- How far apart should I plant seeds?
- How many plants can fit into a bale?
- How should I plant seeds?
- How to plant onions in your straw bale garden
- Planting in your straw bale garden
- The EASY way to use a shovel in your straw bale garden
- How to grow potatoes in your straw bale garden
- Can I set up bales in my parking lot?
- Can I set up bales on concrete?
- Can i set up my bales on my lawn?
- Do I have to have the wire trellis above the bales?
- Garden markers and journals
- How far apart should I put rows of bales??
- How should I orient the bales?
- How to beautify your bales
- Setting up your straw bale garden from scratch
- What if I cannot pound in the posts for a trellis, how can I still make a trellis?
- What can I do about the sprouts coming out of my bales?
- Will hay bales sprout weeds?
- How many tomato plants can I put in a bale?
- Roasted Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
- Tomato Talk - Episode 1
- What about blossom end rot in tomatoes planted in straw bales?
- Why are my tomato plants getting flowers but they are dropping off?
- Will I avoid the blight if I plant in bales?
- Installing an Irrigation System
- Adding emitters for specific plants in your SBG
- Can the bales be too wet?
- How long should I water my bales?
- How often should I water my Straw Bale Garden?
- Should I have one or two soaker hoses on each bale?
BALES - CONDITIONING
BALES - HEAT
BALES - HOW MANY DO I NEED?
BALES - MAKE YOUR OWN
BALES - TIPPING
BEANS AND PEAS
CABBAGE / CUCURBITS
DEER / RABBITS / INVADERS
END OF SEASON
GROWING AND HARVESTING
HAY or OTHER
INSECTS AND WORMS
MICE or OTHER RODENTS
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Straw Bale Gardening?
Straw Bale Gardening is a simply a different type of container gardening. The main difference is that the container is actually the straw bale itself, held together with two or three strings, the outside crust of the bale serves as the container. Once the straw inside the bale begins to decompose, the straw becomes "conditioned" and ready to plant. The step by step process of conditioning creates an extraordinarily productive, warm, moist and nutrient rich rooting environment for young seedlings. Getting the straw bales conditioned is an essential part of the process, and should be started approximately two weeks prior to the target planting date in your area. This planting date varies greatly depending on where you are in the world but this gardening technique works anywhere in the world for seasonal spring/summer or for winter gardens.
Why Straw Bale Gardening?
Growing a successful vegetable garden is difficult enough if you have terrific soil to plant your garden into, but with poor soils it can be virtually impossible. Straw Bale Gardening allows anyone, even those with the worst soil conditions, to grow a terrific garden that is productive and much less labor intensive. For anyone with difficulties bending over or doing the heavy work that is usually involved in turning the soil and digging to plant and harvest crops, the raised height of the Straw Bale Garden makes those chores obsolete. Harvesting potatoes means simply knocking over the bale at the end of the season and picking them up, no digging required. Weeding will also become a thing of the past, there are no weeds in a Straw Bale Garden. Stop spending money buying containers, building raised beds, and buying special planting mixes. Minimal maintenance resulting in maximum production, through Straw Bale Gardening. It will completely change everything you thought you already knew about gardening. Try this method and I assure you that soon you will understand why this is the perfect way to grow a vegetable garden.
Can I do this where I live?
The short answer here is absolutely yes. This method of gardening works very well from areas inside the Arctic Circle, to the heat of the Caribbean. If you can find bales of straw, or similar bales of tightly compressed organic material, you can garden this way. Simply replacing existing soil with a "container" filled with beautiful "conditioned" compost as your growing media. From airid desert regions to the rainiest places in the world, if you have access to sunlight and water then this method of growing will work. No special tools are required, and no knowledge of gardening is really required to be successful. The elimination of many of the most common problems associated with vegetable gardening, makes this method great for beginning gardeners, organic growers, or those experienced gardeners that are just tired of all the hard work.
Who should plant a Straw Bale Garden?
Can't do heavy lifting? If you are less capable or less interested in doing the heavy work of traditional gardening, such as tilling the soil, constant weeding, unending insect battles and persistent disease spraying, Straw BaleGardening virtually eliminates these challenges.
Using many of the tips and tricks Joel offers in his classes and the written material he offers as a guide to new straw bale gardeners, you are guaranteed to be successful with your first straw bale garden experience.
How can I learn more?
A great way to start is to join the Straw Bale Garden club! Joel started teaching "Straw Bale Gardening" as a community education class in the spring of 2008, and has become a popular instructor for many School Districts around the country, teaching this new style of gardening in a classroom settings at garden shows and seminars. Click on Seminars/Classes to see a list of upcoming events and link to the event's home page to sign up. If you live somewhere that makes it impossible to get to one of Joel's seminars you might consider purchasing his newest book "Straw Bale Gardens", which will guide you through the entire process in a step-by-step format. See the STORE tab to purchase the book.
Get a copy of "Straw Bale Gardens Complete" today!
Members get a 20% Discount!See Store for Details
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